Vaso Motor Rhinitis from Cpap

by Monica

I have found that I cannot use the Cpap due to severe reaction to Cpap -even after 3-4 hours use a night, I wake up with extreme watery eyes, a constant running nose and severe sneezing jags - this lasts from - 10 - 20 hours.

I tested the timing and tried different things, but the condition I just described became worse with every use.

I went back to pulmonary doctor and he was the one who said I had the Vaso Motor Rhinitis - he sent me to ENT, who wants to do surgery - says I have small jaw and neck - extra cartilage in nose and deviated septum.

I have gone untreated for my sleep apnea for at least 2 years and I'm not doing all that well - I'm very worried that I can develop heart disease. What can I do?


Vaso Motor Rhinitis is one of the challenges of CPAP therapy. Some people have mask leaks, others have congestion and swollen eyes.

Types of Rhinitis

You did very well to speak with your doctor. There are many types of rhinitis, such as:

  • allergic rhinitis,

  • non-allergic rhinitis,

  • extrinsec,

  • intrinsec rhinitis, and others.

Risk Factors for Rhinitis

All these different types are caused by many risk factors, such as:

  • side effects from medication,

  • overuse of nasal decongestants,

  • intolerance to aspirin,

  • antihypertensive drugs (drugs that treat high blood pressure),

  • acetylchoinesterase inhibitors (medication used for Alzheimer's disease)

  • food: alcohol, fish, chocolate, red wine, hot pepper,

  • drugs for erectile dysfunction,

  • workplace: scientists discovered 450 substances that can trigger rhinitis,

  • environmental factors: CPAP, air conditioning, smoking, stress, and others.

  • changes in hormonal levels: pregnancy, stress,

  • unknown causes.

You can find more about the causes and treatments for rhinitis in this document: "Management of chronic rhinitis"

What to do if you have Vaso Motor Rhinitis from CPAP?

You now know that rhinitis can be caused by continuous positive airway pressure, but the exact causes that affects your body are not entirely understood.

However, there are some useful things that you can do to help your CPAP therapy while having rhinitis (but be sure to check with your doctor first):

  • Increase moisture - if the air from your CPAP machine enters too dry into your airways, you will have serious problems with runny nose. If you have a humidifier for CPAP (which you should have), increase the settings so that you can receive warm air.

    You need to experiment with your humidifier settings, because it's a certain setting that can make you feel better.

  • Drink lots of liquids - drinking plenty of water during the day will assure great airway humidification during the night.

  • Use a CPAP mouth mask - This mask directs the CPAP air flow directly into your mouth, avoiding contact with your nose.

    For example, the Oracle HC452 mouth mask may be helpful for you:

  • Rinse your sinuses twice a day, every day. A Neti Pot can be helpful in severe congestion or infection.

  • use saline spray as often as necessary. You don't need a prescription for saline sprays.

I hope it helps. Don't be afraid to comment back.

Remy Thierry
Founder of Sleep Apnea Guide

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